Palästinenserpräsident Abbas schöpft Hoffnung für Zwei-Staaten-Lösung
Manche Übereinstimmung mit Obama beim Besuch in Washington / Obama und Abbas in der gemeinsamen Pressekonferenz
Eine Woche nach dem Besuch des israelischen Ministerpräsidenten Netanjahu in Washington machte Palästinenserpräsident Abbas seine Aufwartung bei US-Präsident Obama. Wir dokumentieren im Folgenden
Freundliches Schulterklopfen für Abbas
Vorsichtige Hoffnung auf diplomatische Bewegung im Dreieck Israel – Palästinenser – USA
Von Max Böhnel, New York *
Die Palästinenser haben das Treffen zwischen US-Präsident Barack Obama und Palästinenserpräsident Mahmud Abbas positiv bewertet. Die Palästinenser seien »ermutigt«, sagte Chefunterhändler Sajeb Erekat am Freitag (29. Mai).
USA-Präsident Barack Obama hat am Donnerstag (28. Mai) beim Besuch des palästinensischen Präsidenten Mahmud Abbas im Weißen Haus die Wiederaufnahme von Friedensverhandlungen angemahnt. Er sei ein starker Anhänger einer Zwei-Staaten-Lösung, sagte Obama: »Wir können das Abdriften, die zunehmende Angst auf beiden Seiten und die Hoffnungslosigkeit, die wir seit zu vielen Jahren erleben, nicht weiter geschehen lassen. Wir müssen diese Sache wieder in Gang bringen.« Frieden zwischen Israelis und Palästinensern sei eine Vorbedingung für weitere Konfliktlösungen im Nahen Osten. Beide Seiten müssten sich an die »Vereinbarungen halten, zu denen sie sich verpflichtet haben« – eine Anspielung auf den Friedensfahrplan, die »road map« von 2002.
Dabei erneuerte Obama seine Forderung an die Adresse der rechten Netanjahu-Regierung nach einem Siedlungsstopp in der Westbank. Er wählte aber weniger deutliche Worte als seine Außenministerin Hillary Clinton, die tags zuvor im arabischen Fernsehsender »Al-Dschasira« gefordert hatte: »Wir wollen einen Siedlungsstopp, nicht für ein paar Siedlungen, nicht nur für Außenposten, keine natürlich gewachsenen Ausnahmen«. Damit hatte Clinton israelische Regierungsvertreter »überrascht« und »schockiert«, wie es in den Medien hieß. Denn als »natürliches Wachstum« wird die israelische Siedlungspolitik seit Jahren von Israel wie den USA beschönigt. Ob allerdings Clintons Worten, die in dieser Klarheit von Washington lange nicht mehr zu hören waren, Taten folgen werden, blieb am Donnerstag unausgesprochen. Obama nannte weder einen Zeitplan für die Wiederaufnahme eines Verhandlungsprozesses noch erläuterte er, wie das Weiße Haus auf die israelische Regierung in der Siedlungsfrage Druck ausüben werde. Netanjahu müsse Zeit gelassen werden, seiner Regierung die Washingtoner Haltung zu verdeutlichen.
Laut der »New York Times« vom Freitag (29. Mai) bereitet sich Washington damit auf »seinen ersten öffentlichen Disput mit Israel« vor. Die Meinungsverschiedenheiten seien schon vor zehn Tagen bei Netanjahus USA-Besuch hinter verschlossenen Türen aufgetreten. Netanjahu antwortete kurz darauf, er werde gegen diejenigen Siedlungsbauten vorgehen, die ohne Regierungsgenehmigung errichtet worden sind, nicht aber gegen das »natürliche Wachstum«. Israelische Vertreter seien, so die »New York Times«, schon damals »erbost über die scharfe Linie« Washingtons gewesen.
Das Kalkül der Obama-Regierung bestehe darin, eine Kritik der israelischen Siedlungspolitik werde den angeschlagenen Abbas bei den Palästinensern wieder aufwerten. Dem Präsidenten der »Palestinian Authority« hatten Teile der USA-Presse wenig politische Bedeutung zugemessen. Die »Washington Post« nannte Abbas »Chef einer zerfallenen Regierung und einer zerfallenen Partei« und verwies darauf, dass seine Amtszeit vor vier Monaten offiziell ausgelaufen war. Außerdem werde sein »handverlesener Premierminister, der Milliarden von Dollar an Auslandshilfe verwalten soll, von einigen Palästinensern als Handlanger der USA gebrandmarkt«. Die Zeitschrift »Time« schrieb, Abbas' Mandat, als Befürworter der Zwei-Staaten-Lösung zu verhandeln, sei auf palästinensischer Seite »sehr begrenzt«.
In der Washingtoner Insider-Zeitschrift »Politico« war am Freitag (29. Mai) von einem »Spagat« Obamas die Rede. Der USA-Präsident habe einerseits das Bild eines »widerspenstigen Netanjahu« zu verwischen versucht und sich andererseits pro-palästinensisch gegeben. »Typisch Obama«, hieß es. »Er will sowohl durchsetzungsfähig wie auch vorsichtig aussehen.«
Innenpolitisch birgt diese Haltung Risiken. So erhielt er am Tag des Abbas-Besuchs einen von 329 Abgeordneten und 76 Senatoren unterzeichneten Brief, in dem diese ihm von zu großem Druck auf Israel abraten. Die jüdische New Yorker Wochenzeitung »Forward« glaubt dagegen, dass ein Großteil der Israel-Unterstützer in den USA bereit ist, sich hinter Obama und gegen Netanjahu zu stellen. Bei internen Debatten des Dachverbands jüdischer Organisationen, der »Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organisations«, habe nur der Rechtsaußenverband »Zionist Organisation of America« Netanjahus Siedlungspolitik verteidigt. Der ehemalige USA-Botschafter in Israel und Nahostgesandte William Clintons, Martin Indyk, vertritt dieselbe Meinung. Es wehe »ein anderer Zeitgeist«. Die Mehrzahl der amerikanischen Juden und der Israelis hätte »die Siedlungsaktivitäten satt«.
* Aus: Neues Deutschland, 30. Mai 2009
Ein Quantum Trost
Von Roland Etzel **
Selten weilte ein geschwächterer Vertreter der Palästinenser zur Audienz im Weißen Haus als jetzt Mahmud Abbas, und noch seltener wurden einem PLO-Chef dort so wohlwollende Worte zuteil wie dieses Mal. Trotzdem oder gerade deshalb? Vielleicht beides. Abbas ist nicht nur ein Präsident ohne Land, sondern seit gut vier Monaten auch einer ohne ordentliches Mandat, weil die Wahlperiode abgelaufen ist, ohne dass bislang neue Wahlen stattfanden. Und dass ihm Israels alt-neuer starker Mann Netanjahu in seiner kurzen bisherigen Amtszeit einen ganzen Strauß an politischen Dreistigkeiten zumutete, ohne dass das so genannte internationalen Nahostquartett dem wenigstens eine adäquate verbale Reaktion folgen ließ, hat seine Hilflosigkeit noch unterstrichen.
Folglich musste Obama dem Palästinenser demonstrativ zur Seite stehen, sollte dieser nicht vollends zur Spottfigur des Nahen Ostens verkommen. Außerdem will er nächste Worte dortselbst eine »Ansprache an die muslimische Nation« richten. Dies kann ohne eine gewisse Kritik an der israelischen Landraubpolitik nicht gelingen. Aus dem Abbas-Umfeld wurden vor dem Treffen denn auch »Taten statt Worte« verlangt, aber so weit kam es denn doch nicht.
Mit der Aufforderung an Israel, »den Ausbau der Siedlungen als beendet zu betrachten«, kann Netanjahu vermutlich gut leben. Für Abbas eher stärkende Worte als Worte der Stärke. Obama hatte vor seiner Wahl eine neue Nahostpolitik versprochen. Aber noch kränkelt der Friedensprozess dort weiter vor sich hin. Auch der neue »Arzt« Obama gewährte dem Patienten Palästina bislang nicht mehr als ein Quantum Trost .
** Aus: Neues Deutschland, 30. Mai 2009 (Kommentar)
REMARKS BY PRESIDENT OBAMA AND PRESIDENT ABBAS OF THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY IN PRESS AVAILABILITY
Oval Office, May 28, 2009 ***
Hello, everybody. Well, it is a great pleasure to welcome President Abbas to the Oval Office. We had -- we just completed an extensive conversation, both privately as well as with our delegations, about how we can advance peace in the Middle East and how we can reaffirm some core principles that I think can result in Palestinians and Israelis living side by side in peace and security.
As I've said before, I've been a strong believer in a two-state solution that would provide the Israelis and Palestinians the peace and security that they need. I am very appreciative that President Abbas shares that view. And when Prime Minister Netanyahu was here last week I reiterated to him that the framework that's been provided by the road map is one that can advance the interests of Israel, can advance the interests of the Palestinian people, and can also advance the interests of the United States.
We are a stalwart ally of Israel and it is in our interests to assure that Israel is safe and secure. It is our belief that the best way to achieve that is to create the conditions on the ground and set the stage for a Palestinian state as well. And so what I told Prime Minister Netanyahu was is that each party has obligations under the road map. On the Israeli side those obligations include stopping settlements. They include making sure that there is a viable potential Palestinian state. On the Palestinian side it's going to be important and necessary to continue to take the security steps on the West Bank that President Abbas has already begun to take, working with General Dayton. We've seen great progress in terms of security in the West Bank. Those security steps need to continue because Israel has to have some confidence that security in the West Bank is in place in order for us to advance this process.
And I also mentioned to President Abbas in a frank exchange that it was very important to continue to make progress in reducing the incitement and anti-Israel sentiments that are sometimes expressed in schools and mosques and in the public square, because all those things are impediments to peace.
The final point that I made was the importance of all countries internationally, but particularly the Arab states, to be supportive of a two-state solution. And we discussed how important it is that the Arab states, building off of some of the recognition of the possibilities of the two-state solution that are contained in the Arab Peace Initiative continue to provide economic support, as well as political support, to President Abbas's efforts as he moves the Palestinian Authority forward, as he continues to initiate the reforms that have taken place, and as he hopefully is going to be able to enter into constructive talks with the Israelis.
So, again, I want to thank President Abbas for his visit and a very constructive conversation. I am confident that we can move this process forward if all the parties are willing to take on the responsibilities and meet the obligations that they've already committed to, and if they keep in mind not just the short-term tactical issues that are involved, but the long-term strategic interests of both the Israelis and the Palestinians to live side by side in peace and security.
So, thank you again, Mr. President.
PRESIDENT ABBAS: (As translated)
Thank you very much, Mr. President, for receiving us here at the White House. We came here to tell you first of all that we congratulate you for the confidence that was expressed by the American people in electing you President of the United States. And we wish you all success in your mission.
Mr. President, you referred to the international commitment as we stipulated in the road map. I would like to take this opportunity to reaffirm to you that we are fully committed to all of our obligations under the road map, from A to Z. And we believe, like you, Mr. President, that carrying out the obligations of all parties under the road map will be the only way to achieve the durable, comprehensive, and just peace that we need and desire in the Middle East.
Mr. President, I believe that the entire Arab world and the Islamic world, they are all committed to peace. We've seen that through the Arab League Peace Initiative that simply talks about land for peace as a principle. I believe that if the Israelis would withdraw from all occupied Palestinian, Syrian, and Lebanese land, the Arab world will be ready to have normal relationships with the state of Israel.
On our part, we are carrying our security and responsibility in the West Bank, and have law and order in that areas under our control because we believe that it is in our interest to have security. It's in the interest of stability in the region. And here I would like to pay tribute and thank you to General Dayton and all those who work with him in helping and supporting and training our security organizations to carry out their duties and responsibilities.
Mr. President, I believe that time is of the essence. We should capitalize on every minute and every hour in order to move the peace process forward, in order to cement this process, in order to achieve the agreement that would lead to peace.
Thank you very much.
Thank you. We got time for a couple of questions. Julianna.
Q Thank you, Mr. President. I'm going to ask you a question about your trip next week to Riyadh. Reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil is a cornerstone of your energy policy. And when you meet with Riyadh's King Abdullah next week, what message will you take to him about U.S. energy policy, oil prices, output quotes, and the like?
Well, you know, Saudi Arabia has been an important strategic partner in providing us with our critical energy needs. We appreciate that. It's a commercial relationship as well as a strategic relationship.
And I don't think that it's in Saudi Arabia's interests or our interests to have a situation in which our economy is dependent, or better yet, is disrupted constantly by huge spikes in energy prices. And it's in nobody's interest, internationally, for us to continue to be so heavily dependent on fossil fuels that we continue to create the greenhouse gases that threaten the planet.
So in those discussions I'll be very honest with King Abdullah, with whom I've developed a good relationship, indicating to him that we're not going to be eliminating our need for oil imports in the immediate future; that's not our goal. What our goal has to be is to advance the clean energy solutions in this country that can strengthen our economy, put people back to work, diversify our energy sources.
And, you know, interestingly enough, you're seeing the Saudis make significant investments both in their own country and outside of their country in clean energy, as well, because I think they recognize that we've got finite -- we have a finite supply of oil. There are going to be a whole host of countries like China and India that have huge populations, need to develop rapidly.
If everybody is dependent solely on oil as opposed to energy sources like wind and solar, if we are not able to figure out ways to sequester carbon and that would allow us to use coal in a non-polluting way, if we don't diversify our energy sources, then all of us are going to be in trouble. And so I don't think that will be a difficult conversation to have.
Q (Question asked in Arabic.) Mr. President, if Israel keeps declining to accept the two-state solution and to freeze the settlement activities, how the U.S. would intervene in the peace process?
We'll, I think it's important not to assume the worst, but to assume the best. And in my conversations with Prime Minister Netanyahu I was very clear about the need to stop the settlements; to make sure that we are stopping the building of outposts; to work with the Palestinian Authority in order to alleviate some of the pressures that the Palestinian people are under in terms of travel and commerce, so that we can initiate some of the economic development plans that Prime Minister Netanyahu himself has said are so important on the ground.
And that conversation only took place last week. I think that we don't have a moment to lose, but I also don't make decisions based on just the conversation that we had last week because obviously Prime Minister Netanyahu has to work through these issues in his own government, in his own coalition, just as President Abbas has a whole host of issues that he has to deal with.
But I'm confident that if Israel looks long term -- looks at its long-term strategic interests, that it will recognize that a two-state solution is in the interests of the Israeli people as well as the Palestinians. And certainly that's how the United States views our long-term strategic interests -- a situation in which the Palestinians can prosper, they can start businesses, they can educate their children, they can send them to college, they can prosper economically. That kind of situation is good for Israel's security. And I am confident that the majority of the Israeli people would see that as well.
Now, obviously the Israelis have good reason to be concerned about security, and that's why it's important that we continue to make progress on the security issues that so often end up disrupting peace talks between the two parties.
Q (Previous question translated.) President Abbas, you've met with President Obama, and perhaps you shared some of your ideas about permanent status resolution. What was in these ideas, and what kind of appropriate mechanism that you have discussed to realize them and carry them out?
We have shared some ideas with the President, but all of them basically are embodied in the road map and the Arab League Initiative, without any change, without any modification.
Regarding the mechanism to carry it out, of course, there is a mechanism through the Quartet as well as the follow-up committee from the Arab nations. Such a proposal will need to be looked at, studied; then we'll see where to go from here.
Q Mr. President, do you plan to unveil any part or all of your proposal for Mideast peace when you're speaking in Cairo next week, or is it some other message you intend to deliver?
I want to use the occasion to deliver a broader message about how the United States can change for the better its relationship with the Muslim world. That will require, I think, a recognition on both the part of the United States as well as many majority Muslim countries about each other, a better sense of understanding, and I think possibilities to achieve common ground.
I want to emphasize the importance of Muslim Americans in the United States and the tremendous contributions they make, something that I think oftentimes is missed in some of these discussions. But certainly the issue of Middle East peace is something that is going to need to be addressed. It is a critical factor in the minds of many Arabs in countries throughout the region and beyond the region. And I think that it would be inappropriate for me not to discuss those.
I'm not going to give you a preview right now, but it's something that we'll certainly discuss.
One thing that I didn’t mention earlier that I want to say I very much appreciate is that President Abbas I think has been under enormous pressure to bring about some sort of unity government and to negotiate with Hamas. And I am very impressed and appreciative of President Abbas's willingness to steadfastly insist that any unity government would have to recognize the principles that have been laid by the Quartet.
In the absence of a recognition of Israel and a commitment to peace, and a commitment to previous agreements that have already been made, it would be very hard to see any possibility of peace over the long term. And so I want to publicly commend President Abbas for taking that position because I think it's a position that's in the interest of the Palestinian people, in the interests of peace in the region, and it's something that the United States very much agrees with.
Q (Asked in Arabic.) Mr. President, if I may, President Bush hoped that you would have a Palestinian state by the time he leaves office. It didn't happen. Do you have a time frame when this Palestinian state is going to happen? Are you talking about a timetable for negotiation?
(Previous question translated.) The first question to President Abbas: Mr. President, did you receive any kind of clear-cut commitments from President Obama, or any pledges that would help you to strengthen your hands when you are dealing with the Palestinian public and opposition among Palestinians that this peace process activities could be viable and could be actually productive?
And the second question was, did President Obama ask you to have a meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu?
President Obama basically talked and reaffirmed the international commitments that we all agreed to, and they are all embodied in the road map. He talked about the necessity to have two states, he talked about the importance of stopping settlement activities, and he also talked about the importance of achieving peace through negotiating all permanent status issues.
Obviously without discussing and negotiating permanent status issues there will be no progress. We know that all the six issues of permanent status were discussed with the previous Israeli Prime Minister, Mr. Olmert, and what is needed right now is to resume the discussions with the current Israeli government.
And in terms of a timetable, I have not put forward a specific timetable. But let me just point out, when I was campaigning for this office I said that one of the mistakes I would not make is to wait until the end of my first term, or the end of my second term, before we moved on this issue aggressively. And we've been true to that commitment.
From the first week that I arrived in this office, I insisted that this is a critical issue to deal with, in part because it is in the United States' interest to achieve peace; that the absence of peace between Palestinians and Israelis is a impediment to a whole host of other areas of increased cooperation and more stable security for people in the region, as well as the United States. And so I want to see progress made, and we will work very aggressively to achieve that.
I don't want to put an artificial timetable, but I do share President Abbas's feelings and I believe that many Israelis share the same view that time is of the essence, that we can't continue with a drift**, with the increased fear and resentments on both sides, the sense of hopelessness around the situation that we've seen for many years now -- we need to get this thing back on track. And I will do everything I can, and my administration will do everything I can -- my special envoy, George Mitchell, is working as diligently as he can, as is my entire national security team, to make sure that we jumpstart this process and get it moving again.
*** Source: www.whitehouse.gov
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